Some news from around the world today, reaching from the corners of the Pacific and to the USA and Europe. News from Papua New Guinea where the Digicel Cup has been reduced to nine teams, also it finally seems that the PNGRFL will have their AGM. In the USA the Donnybrook Cup is getting closer and it also seems like there is a full international calendar for the Hawaiians.
THE election of the chairman, deputy chairman and four region directors of the PNG Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) will be held on Feb 18 in Lae. PNGRFL acting general manager Ivan Ravu said this “As stipulated under section 4 (by-law) of the PNGRFL constitution, all leagues intending to affiliate as members of the PNGRFL for 2012 must meet all membership criteria for affiliation,”. Leagues intending to apply for membership to the PNGRFL must provide the following:
Nominations for positions on the board are open and the closing date is this Saturday 11th February. The positions to be nominated for are Chairman, deputy Chairman and four regional directors
On another note the Hela Wigmen have failed to meet the February 3 deadline set by the PNGRFL to register for this years National Competition, the Digicel Cup. This means that the competition is reduced to 9 teams once again. Teams that are confirmed for this year’s competition which kicks off on the April 15 are
In NRL News that may have got past you, it seems that the court ruling last week that Optus can stream live sport content on a 2 minute delay over the internet has done a drastic hit to the hoped of the NRL getting their Billion dollar contract. It is estimated that the online broadcast is only worth $60 million which is far less than the $153 million paid to the AFL last year. Seems that the negotiations were a bit late for this. But this ruling has implications for all sports down the line not just Rugby League. Read the article here.
The Newcastle Knights will be traveling to Fiji in 2013 for their pre-season training and will have a trial match against the Fiji Bati (see article here). This comes on the back of the announcement last week that they are looking to set up an academy in Fiji to nurture future Rugby league players. Newcastle stars like Timana Tahu, Darius Boyd, Rodney Mason, Akuila Uate and Wes Naiqama are likely to be part of the tour.
Meanwhile Steve McLellan, who is the Fiji Rugby league General Manager, added a lot of stars like Petero Civoniceva, Lote Tuqiri, Jarryd Hayne and Jason Bukuya were part of the Australian-based Fijian rugby players’ training session last week. Read into that what you will I suppose.
In his February round up of the AMNRL, David Niu says that new coaching guidelines which are modeled on the ARL and the NSWRL will be in place this year. This means that all clubs need to have staff with a higher level of certification. according to Niu the coaching package will be “uniquely American”. Players being brought in from overseas Niu writes “each American club will now be required to get a clearance from the overseas club at which the player has been based before signing him. This is to ensure that the AMNRL attracts the best quality players to compete in domestic competitions as it strives to improve the standard of the US game”.
The Atlantic Conference is looking to solidify an eight-team competition and the Pacific Conference could have up to 6 clubs playing. There are also new western teams and new teams in the Midwest around Chicago and Iowa. There apparently is the prospect to send the USA to the 2013 Student Rugby League World Cup in London as well. It may be an Emerging Tomahawks side or a College All Star team.
International matches that have been “confirmed” are Ireland in the Donnybrook Cup in will be in Philadelphia in March, Tonga in Hawaii in May and Japan in Hawaii, in June. Talks with the Cook Islands are ongoing and that would probably be in Hawaii while discussions are with Canada Rugby League about this year’s Colonial Cup series. The Tomahawks might tour France in October and the Italian Federation has also expressed an interest in hosting the US.
Meanwhile the USARL’s DC slayers will be traveling to Jamaica to take on the Jamaican Hurricanes in May.
Tickets are selling fast for the World Club Challenge next week, which sees the 2011 ESL and NRL champions slug it out. Apparently only 200 tickets are left at Headingly. This means it will be a great crowd for the game. I was there for a test match in 2007 and that place absolutely will rock when full. Leeds will be looking to a big performance, they last won it in 2008 and were the last english team to win it. Since then 3 of the Aussie teams have dominated, with Manly in 2009, Melbourne in 2010 and St George in 2011 winning it. Leeds need to restore English pride while Manly are looking to find a positive in what has been a disastrous off-season for them. If Leeds win this, then it makes them the equally most successful team with Wigan.
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